Emmanuel Macron commemorated the French Resistance against Nazi Germany in a strong operation to prevent protests

Emmanuel Macron at the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe (Reuters) (JOHANNA GERON /)

French President Emmanuel Macron presided over the solemn acts for Victory Daywhich commemorates the allied victory against Nazi Germany, in the midst of strong security measures to prevent demonstrations and casseroles in the surroundings.

The French Republic is not, by definition, neither bad nor disastrous, it is necessary, vital, just”, Macron pointed out, recalling the leaders of the French Resistance in his speech of the day, which again had as a background the social division and discontent generated by the approval of the controversial pension reform.

The solemn acts began in Pariswhere the head of state paid homage to General Charles de Gaulle by laying a wreath before his statue in the Place Clemenceau, before driving up the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe.

There he presided over the traditional lighting of the flame of the tomb of the unknown soldierwhich remembers those killed in the defense of France.

French President Emmanuel Macron lights the flame on the tomb of the unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe on Place de l'Etoile during the ceremonies marking the 78th anniversary of the victory against the Nazis and the end of the World War II in Europe, in Paris on May 8, 2023. (Photo by Michel Euler / POOL / AFP)
The flame at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier (AFP) (MICHEL EULER /)

A multitude of personalities, such as the French Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, or former President Nicolas Sarkozy, were present at that ceremony, but few people accompanied her on streets that were guarded by a strong security device.

To limit the impact of the protests and casseroles that have been accompanying the departures of members of the Government since the enactment of the pension reform in April, the security forces had established a 200-meter perimeter in which demonstrations were prohibiteddespite criticism issued by unions and opposition.

Something similar happened in the second part of Macron’s agenda for this Victory Day, during the afternoon, when he went to lyons to pay homage to one of the historic leaders of the French Resistance, Jean Moulin, and to the victims of Nazi crimes.

Pan-bashing protesters gather to demonstrate against France's pension reform, ahead of French President Emmanuel Macron's visit to attend a ceremony paying tribute to Jean Moulin, in Lyon, central-eastern France, on May 8, 2023. - French President has signed the pension reform into law, with the changes set to take effect later this year.  Opposition lawyers have not given up on their efforts to thwart him, with a bill set to be presented in parliament on June 8 that seeks to water down key parts of the new pensions law.  Trade unions have called for a 14th day of nationwide protests in June.  (Photo by Jean-Philippe KSIAZEK / AFP)
Protest against the pension reform in Lyon (AFP) (JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK /)

The unions failed in their attempt to appeal the measure imposed by the Prefecture (Government Delegation) to also prevent the demonstrations in the perimeter of the Montluc prison, where Moulin was imprisoned and the headquarters of official acts.

That didn’t stop several hundred protesters from staging a rally in the city center.as reported by the local media, to remember the discomfort with the Government for the delay in the minimum retirement age.

In the Moulin prison, Macron paid a visit and gave a speech paying tribute to Moulin and the Resistance, in which he winked at the unions despite the current conflictive moment.

Specifically, he recalled how “the two great unions of republican France” were part of the internal opposition to the Nazis.

Victory Day celebrates each year the victory of the allied bloc over Nazi Germany and the end of World War II in Europe.

(With information from EFE)

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